Our First Road Trip! (Part 4)

Our first major road trip occurred six weeks after we arrived in South Bend.  We took a 12-day road trip to play Duke in Durham, NC then traveled to Long Island to play Cornell.  We departed South Bend on April 4th and arrived back on April 16th. As much as we were enjoying our time in our new “home”, the timing was perfect for a little getaway.  Unencumbered by work, as I was let go the week before and officially retired from corporate work, the timing could not have been better.  It is funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?  Being on the road for 12 days and trying to do work would have been both difficult and taken away from our ability to enjoy the sites along the way.

As an aside, I have mixed emotions as I write these posts.  80% of the emotion is happiness and joy remembering the awesome time we had and the memories that will last a lifetime we created.  The other 20% of the emotion is sad that it’s over.  Both that that trip is over, but also Marco’s playing career.  I am a sentimental chap, so that’s natural for me, but man it was a trip of a lifetime for sure!  Onto our first stop!

Gallipolis, OH, and Point Pleasant, WV

One of Joy’s many talents is being a master researcher.  I know once Joy gets involved in doing her homework, we are set!  That can be from researching a major purchase to planning our itinerary and places to stay.   As I mentioned in my prior post, there are not many options when heading South or East but to go through Ohio.  So our first stop was in Gallipolis, Oh which is where the Kanawha and Ohio rivers connect.  Across the Ohio River is Point Pleasant, WV which is a cute little town.  History has it that the first battle of the Revolutionary War took place here. The Battle of Point Pleasant took place in October 1774 between British forces from Virginia and Shawnee Chief Cornstalk’s forces.  Point Pleasant is also home to the Mothman, something like the Big Foot of West Virginia!

By the way, on our way to Gallipolis we stopped in at the Salty Longhorn!   It was a total act of randomness, but we happened to stumble our way back in and they remembered us!

Joy with the Mothman in Point Pleasant. The capital of WV is Charleston, they have a golden dome. I knew we were going to win!

Durham, NC

The drive to Durham, NC took us through West Virginia.  It was our first time through this part of the Country, and it was really beautiful.  What was fascinating for us is the further South we drove, the more Spring it became.  When we left South Bend, it was gray and sticks – no flowers.  Ohio was much of the same, but as we drove through West Virginia we could see colors in the trees and Spring beginning to emerge.  By the time we arrived in Durham, NC it was officially Spring.  It was one of the nicest tailgates and game day we had experienced.  It was a packed house as this was a repeat of the 2023 National Championship game (Irish Victory!) so the Blue Devils were out for revenge.  It was not to be as it was another victory for the Irish (15-12).

Spring had sprung on the Duke campus. Interesting Gothic architecture.
Game day! Duke has a private hotel/golf course on campus that is gorgeous! TV caught a picture of Joy being sandwiched by our good friend Adam Ramsey and me!

St. Michaels, MD

One of the most beautiful (and surprising) places we stayed was in a small beach town on the East Chesapeake Bay called St. Michaels. It was also the Solar Eclipse, and this part of the Country got a full view.  We were rushing to get to the hotel in time to catch it.  I told Joy it was the most stress I had been under since I retired.  Cute little town, it was off-season so it was empty, but we had a blast.

I also got pulled over leaving St. Michaels, this would be the second time actually!   The first time was leaving Santa Fe, NM.  I was let off both times with a warning.  Lesson to you kids, keep your hands on the wheel, be respectful, apologize and you can get away with a warning!!!

St. Michaels, MD. Solar Eclipse, bike riding through town, and beautiful views of the water.

Long Beach, NY

Our next game took place on Long Island against Cornel.  It was one of the most intense games of the year with the Irish winning 18-17, they were a very good team.  The weather was still pretty cold, but we made the most of it.  We went to Manhattan to see the Book of Mormon, which was hilarious!  We also went to a winery in Northport called Del Vino which was nice.  The town was a super cute seaport village, I am told there are many in the northern part of Long Island. We stopped at a Dutch bakery for a cup of coffee after wine tasting.

Thoughts on New York:

  • Cash is still king. Some tolls only took cash?? Many shops also only cash, interesting!
  • Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way.
  • Gas was cheaper on Long Island than in South Bend, how???
  • It is not possible to drive 10 mph over the speed limit as you will get run off the road.
  • The restaurants that do take credit cards, add a 3.5% “service fee” – really???
  • I would weigh 500 lbs. if I lived there as the food is very good and the portions are huge!
Some fun on LI, NY. Took the train into Manhattan and went to Northport for some wine tasting. Joy taking a picture in front of the very first pilates studio!
Tough game vs. Cornell, but ND was victorious. It was great to see Marco at the tailgate after the game.

Foxburg, PA

The drive from Long Island to South Bend is not very interesting.  We struggled to find a place to stay that was in between (roughly 6-hour drive).  Joy put her research hat on and found this cute little town called Foxburg, PA situated on the Allegheny River. We had a nice hike along the river and had a nice dinner.  The drive through the Pocono Mountains of PA was quite beautiful as well.

We arrived back in South Bend to find Spring had sprung while we were away.  Flowers were blooming and leaves were appearing on the trees.  It was a great way to end a fantastic road trip.

Foxburg, PA. Joy found this cute little town on our way back to South Bend.
Notre Dame greeted us with beautiful tulips when we arrived back on campus.

6 thoughts on “Our First Road Trip! (Part 4)”

  1. Marco Napolitano

    Purged that Cornell game from my memory. What a disaster! That picture of you, mom, and ramsey is all time at the Duke game lol! No shocker that you were left with a warning after getting pulled over twice! I love the style of these. Keep em coming!

    1. While that Cornell game was hands down the worst game for the D, I think it was a turning point for you guys as a group, would you agree? There was only one game after that where the D gave up 10+ goals. As with many things in life, they may look bad in the moment, but you never know how they may pave the way to future gains. It’s not how many times you get hit, but how many times you get back up! That Ramsey picture is amazing and does a perfect job of capturing the emotion of the moment! Poor Mom, though!

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